Violent video games: Do parents want help from a nanny state?
Parents weigh in on Monday's Supreme Court ruling, which struck down, by a 7-2 vote, a California law that prevented the sale of violent video games to minors.
Mike Blake / Reuters
Sherman Oaks, California
But what say parents?
Interviews via email and in person from here to Boston – with decidedly unscientific samples – seem to indicate that parents, by a ratio of about 3 to 2, prefer to do their own policing.
“I looked over my son’s shoulder as he played a game with young girls being struck by a shovel as they beg for mercy … then the player can pour gasoline over them, set them on fire and pee on them,” says Gladys Stone, a single mom with a 14-year-old son. “That’s disgusting. I would love to have a law that I could point to and say, ‘Sorry Zeke, it’s against the law,’ ” she says.
“It’s a parent’s job to watch their children and decide what is allowed or not,” says Edie Hagmaier, mother of three boys, ages 9 to 14. “Who wants to live in a nanny state? Not me.”
Likewise, Lisle and Jim Stigler – head of a middle school and a UCLA psychology professor, respectively – think parents should be able to control their minor child’s activities without a law being in place. “I don’t allow my kids to purchase any game that includes rape, theft or violence toward women/children,” writes Lisle, mother of five boys and one girl, in an email. “Even when they are over 18, I don’t allow them to play such games in my house.”